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Four Hot Internet Marketing Law Issues to Watch Out For in 2008

Based on what we’ve seen the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) do in recent years, here’s a few things you should be wary of while marketing your business on the Internet.

1. Increased anti-spam enforcement. The one-hit wonders in the info marketing crowd are starting to panic because price points have dropped. Packages that sold for $1500 bucks are lucky to get one-third that amount a year later. Seminar attendance has dropped and the primary attendees are newbies. Pitches are made to these new marketers with the view that there’s one born every minute and hoping the newbie will burnout (like most do) before discovering the get-rich-quick package was a bunch of junk. What does this have to do with spam e-mail? Desperate marketers are intentionally violating the CAN-SPAM Act in order to support a sinking ship. Even reputable marketers are reverting to single opt-in lists instead of double (verified/conbusinessed) opt-ins because conversion rates are lower with the latter. Some of the worst CAN-SPAM violators are buying launch lists from other marketers, importing the names, and then sending e-mails telling people not to forget about a special bonus for the launch that never was actually part of the launch. These are unsolicited commercial e-mails, i.e. spam. The FTC and/or a few state attorneys general will likely make an example of these spammers. Don’t let it be you.

2. Liability for your affiliatesmisconduct. Federal and state law enforcement officials routinely hold network marketing (MLM) companies responsible for the misrepresentations made by their commissioned sales associates. If you’re marketing a business opportunity or health-related product on the Internet, look for the government to take a harsher view at what is said on behalf of your product by your affiliates. This includes unsubstantiated income and health claims as well as fake, unsubstantiated or secretly compensated testimonials. In most instances, you as the product creator will have the deep pocket to tap instead of the broke affiliate who misrepresented your product, i.e you’ll be a bigger target.

3. Increased Website content ripoffs. When you can download an entire website and have all of its content re-written, including front e-books and autoresponder sequences, for less than a thousand dollars, look for more people to rip off your sites and do so without legal consequences. While there are ways to take down sites hosted in the U.S., Canada, etc. for infringement, enforcement actions become a big problem when a site is hosted in Asia or Eastern Europe. Internet marketing gurus in the late 1990s were telling everyone to find a successful site and rip it off. When your $97 info product starts selling on a cloned site abroad for $5, that advice is going to hit home in a big way.

4. Taxes and Personal Asset Protection. This issue has the potential to be the number one problem facing Internet marketers in the coming years — it will cost more than one millionaire marketer his entire fortune and some possible time in prison for tax fraud too. What most Internet marketers think they know about this issue is absolutely wrong (because they’ve been sold a pack of lies and half-truths by asset protection charlatans). I’ll be releasing a special report to clients on this issue soon. It won’t be for sale. You’ll have to get it through a client of mine.

Mike Young, Esq.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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